Planning Commission to relook at medical center CUP

At its meeting next Wednesday, June 5, the Homer Advisory Planning Commission will again consider a controversial 20,000-square-foot medical center to be built on Danview Avenue just north of the Homer Medical Clinic. It will discuss several issues following an appeal of a conditional use permit granted for the building.

Last fall, the commission in a 6-0 vote approved a conditional use permit for landowner Dr. Paul Raymond to build a two-story building to house the Kachemak Bay Medical clinic on a 1.37-acre lot in what’s becoming a de-facto medical district. Zoned “Residential Office,” the Bartlett Street area north of Pioneer Avenue includes single-lot homes, senior housing, houses turned into offices, apartment complexes, South Peninsula Hospital, Christian Community Church and the Pratt Museum.

Local resident Robin “Rob” Lund appealed the permit. After a hearing, Administrative Law Judge Christopher Kennedy denied most of the points of Lund’s appeal and upheld the Planning Commission decision. In a written decision dated May 3, Kennedy did note some confusion regarding what the commission intended Raymond do in response to a question on his application, “Are/will public services adequate to serve the proposed needs and structures?”

Raymond responded “yes,” and the Planning Commission found that public services, including road access, are adequate.

“Immediately afterward it made another, inconsistent finding, recommending ‘that the applicant work with the City of Homer to share costs of improving roads so that access is adequate,’” Kennedy wrote. “If someone needs to do something ‘so that access is adequate,’ access must not be adequate at this time.”

City Planner Rick Abboud noted in his brief that “Citiview(sic) and Danview Streets are undeveloped,” Kennedy added. He wrote that on the existing record it cannot be determined what are the deficiencies in access and what needs to be done to make access adequate. Kennedy ordered the Planning Commission to gather more facts to address road access, create a record on the issue of road access, make new findings on regarding if the conditional use permit meets that criterion based on the new record, and impose any new conditions related to access it feels are warranted.

Kennedy also noted a point Lund made in his oral argument but not in his written appeal: that the Planning Commission is in effect engaging in rezoning by conditional use permit.

“They’re basically doing the rezoning job by sneaking it in the back door,” Lund said in a phone interview last Friday.

Kennedy acknowledged Lund’s point, calling it “potentially a serious concern.” However, because Lund did not raise that issue as a formal point on appeal, other parties were not on notice that it could be argued and thus Kennedy could not consider it in his decision.

The Homer Comprehensive Plan does recommend that the city consider creating a medical zoning district, but that is a project the Planning Commission has not yet considered.

The commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Homer City Hall in the Cowles Council Chambers.

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

More in News

Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion 
                                The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna is seen here on June 1.
Application period for borough relief funds begins Monday

Borough residents can apply for these grants July 13 through July 24.

Homer Farmers Market: Farmers offer stability in times of uncertainty

In a time of uncertainty, it certainly is nice to know where… Continue reading

Hospital adds new COVID-19 rooms

An increase last month in positive COVID-19 cases on the lower Kenai… Continue reading

Peonies cover a table, ready to receive people at a field to vase dinner tour hosted by Certified American Grown Flowers on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer Peony Celebration begins this week

With many large or indoor events canceled this year due to the… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy the CDC)
9 new COVID-19 cases on the Kenai Peninsula

The central Kenai Peninsula saw growth in the number of new COVID-19… Continue reading

The Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly overrides mayoral veto of hybrid election system ordinance

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly voted to override a mayoral… Continue reading

Independence Day parade organized after official event gets canceled

The continued spread of COVID-19 across Alaska prompted many official organizations and… Continue reading

A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through a race during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Kenai Peninsula Fair canceled this year

Cotton candy, carnival rides and racing pigs will have to wait for… Continue reading

Members of the Homer City Council interview candidate Rob Dumouchel for the job of city manager on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 via Zoom in Homer, Alaska. Top row from left to right: Council member Joey Evensen, Mayor Ken Castner, Council member Heath Smith. Middle row from left to right: Council members Donna Aderhold, Rachel Lord and Storm Hansen-Cavasos. Bottom row from left to right: Candidate Rob Dumouchel and Council member Caroline Venuti.
Council offers city manager job to California candidate

The Homer City Council voted last week to offer the job of… Continue reading

Most Read